Memphis, the always controversial sarah lacy



This is big news in my world. Peter LaMotte, an old college friend who lives in DC, has been visiting San Francisco for the last few days. (Pictured here on my DC book tour stop.) Apparently, he's been going around to mutual friends saying that Memphis isn't all that great and Nashville is way better. Now, for those who don't know, I'm a hugely proud Memphian. And for those who don't know, you only like one or the other: Memphis or Nashville. So these are fighting words. (Yes, Meredith, if you are reading YOU HAVE TO PICK.)

Mr. LaMotte and I had drinks tonight with Paul Carr who has not only never been to either, but has never been to the American South before. We decided the only way to settle this was have all three of us go to Nashville for two days, then Memphis for two days, pull out all the most awesome stops and let Mr. Carr decide which is better.

I am so sure I'm going to win that I gave Nashville New Years Eve advantage and the formidable first-city advantage. We'll be doing Nashville December 31 and January 1 and Memphis January 2 and 3. [UPDATE: A terrified Peter tried to weasel out of this whole thing by making seemingly unbreakable New Years Eve plans-- after committing. So we've moved the dates to December 27 and 28 for Nashville and 29 and 30th for Memphis.]

I have EVERY confidence I'll win. There aren't even any surprises. (Although feel free to email me suggestions at sarah(at)sarahlacy(dot)com. I haven't lived there for a decade after all.) Are we going to Graceland? Yes. Al Green's church Sunday morning? Yes. Raiford's? Yes. Rendezvous? Yes. Cozy Corner? Yes. Gus's? Yes. Alex's for late night burgers and wings? Um, yes. There's just no competition. In fact, I'm so confident that I'm actually worried Peter will back out-- hence this post to shame him into staying in and fighting for his city.

That smack talking done, I'm hugely excited about seeing Nashville-- a city I've never had much love for-- through Peter's very enthusiastic eyes. I promise to keep an open mind. I mean, it won't be better than Memphis. But I might like it. I have a feeling it'll be four days none of us will ever forget. Watch out, Tennessee.


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Oh lord, what have I done. I am taking on this battle and I will not rest until Paul is in a cowboy hat and singing country music at Lonnie's!

And wait a second... who is the other mutual friend? Or does Paul count for multiple people?

i believe you told drunk paul *and* sober paul.

Sarah, I'm very happy to support the cause. Let me know what assistance you need to demonstrate Memphis as the superior city.

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Srah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is an award-winning reporter who has covered high-growth entrepreneurship for more than fifteen years. She is the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of, the site-of-record for the startup ecosystem. She lives in San Francisco.

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